Unsettling Scores is a three-part online program curated by Liquid Architecture for MUMA in conjunction with the exhibition Samson Young: Real Music, with expanded works published on Liquid Architecture’s journal, Disclaimer.

In the third and final edition, Māori composer, improviser and ethnomusicologist Rob Thorne (Ngāti Tumutumu) shares Oruaiti E Kurapae O Hīkoi Whakarekareka, a new site-specific, score-as-journey, embedded in a digital map of Breaker Bay, Aotearoa/NZ near where he lives. The work is an invitation to walk, listen, seek, organise and play along a route of resonant sites selected by Thorne, each accompanied by a set of poetic instructions. In doing so, Thorne mobilises experimental sound as a revival tool of taonga pūoro, connection to land and Māori identity.

The second project featured here is Proposals from the Future, which documents an experimental and ever-evolving dialogue between composers Nick Ashwood, Johnny Chang, Megan Alice Clune, Andrew Fedorovitch, Sonya Holowell, MP Hopkins, Shota Matsumura and Alexandra Spence. Conducted between Auckland, Sydney, Berlin and beyond from April to June 2020, Proposals from the Future adopts a methodology of sharing, chatting, messaging, commenting and encouraging—what the group describes as an ‘analogue collective mindset’—to conceptually expand twelve scores that were produced and performed, but not recorded.

Oruaiti E Kurapae O Hīkoi Whakarekareka
Rob Thorne

Stand facing your oncoming journey.
Summon and speak your intentions to your tupuna and atua.

Tāwhirimātea, tukuna mai te hā.
Tangaroa, puritia aku roimata.
Papatūānuku, tāmaua ōku waewae.
Hineraukatauri, whakarongo mai ki taku waiata.
Hāpaitia ake ahau ki runga, hākaritia taku koha.
Uhia mai tō aroha ki runga ki ngā mea ora katoa.
Tihei mauri ora.

Tāwhirimātea, god of wind, bring me breath.
Tangaroa, god of the sea, accept my tears.
Papatūānuku, my earth mother, hold my feet.
Hineraukatauri, goddess of music, hear my song.
Lift me up, accept my offering.
Bless all life with love.
Awaken. Let there be life.

Begin. Sit on the rock facing out to sea. In respect we remove our shoes as we enter into communion with our tupuna and atua. Wait, hear, listen to the waves, there are birds in the bush behind you. Every sound is a part of this composition. You are the composer, the performer and the audience.

Awaken yourself to the potential of tumutumu kōhatu around you. Stimulate the spirit of tumutumu kōhatu to inspire your search. Watch and listen as the kōhatu call out to you to be chosen to sing. Watch for the ways they call you, the light on their surface, their colour, their shape, size, weight, and then finally, their sound.

Walk as you discover, play and listen to your tumutumu kōhatu.

Stand facing the waves and play tumutumu kōhatu to bless Tangaroa. Listen to how the stones are similar to the sounds around you. The waves when you rub them together, the wash when you shake them in your cupped hands, the birds when you strike them in certain rhythmic combinations.

Awaken yourself to the sounds reflecting off the cliff. Listen as the cliff answers your calls. Move towards, and then away. As you arrive into this space where do the reflections start, and in what place do the echos stop as you come up to the cliff?

Explore the found treasure in the holes on the cliff for sound. Feel the cliff on your face as you press your mouth to the edges. Why do you attempt some holes but not others? Is there such a thing as a perfect sound if nature is as it is, whole, full, resolute, magnificent. If the wind was blowing at a particular angle against the cliff, would these holes sound as flutes? Hold the moment. Wait. Listen.

Explore the voices as you walk through the archway. Listen. Reflections. Echos. Amplification. Unison. Pitch.

Awaken yourself to the potential of pākuru around you. Stimulate the spirit of pākuru to inspire your search. Watch and listen as the rakau call out to you to be chosen to sing. Seek shape and length. A form that fits inside your hand and curves to your face. Test its resonance, maybe with one of your tumutumu first, or a finger. Secondly find the striking rod, longer, with a hammer style node at the end. Keep looking if their sound does not resonate with your spirit.

Find, play and enjoy your found pākuru. Pākuru are very sensitive, quiet, gentle instruments. Reach for the soft, move the rods against your face as you change the shape of your mouth. Explore patterns. Explore singular sounds.

Facing the water, play the pūmoana as a flute to bless and honour Hine Mokemoke, atua of the conch and daughter of Hine Moana and Tāngaroa.

Stand facing the waves and play pūmoana kokiri to bless and honour Tangaroa.

To finish, stand in the wash facing out to sea, feel the water on your feet and listen to the waves as they sing.

Image: Google Maps screenshot of Oruaiti Reserve, Breaker Bay, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.


Proposals from the Future

Nick Ashwood
Johnny Chang
Megan Alice Clune
Andrew Fedorovitch
Sonya Holowell
MP Hopkins
Shota Matsumura
Alexandra Spence


The idea is to find a moment together, each in our own way, to listen and to centre around anything we find relevant (either with respect to the score or, indeed, the current situation). The global parallel realisations will take place without technical intervention, or co-ordination through digital means. The focus is to be the analogue collective mindset. Download the score from the link provided, and join in wherever you are at the appropriate time.

—Johnny Chang, 12 April 2020


Proposals of the Past/Future

29 Mar 2020
In response
15 Apr 2020 
15 Apr 2020 
27 Apr 2020 
30 Apr 2020 
10 May 2020 
17 May 2020 
27 May 2020 
30 May 2020 
12 Jun 2020 

Mieko Shiomi, Boundary Music
Sonya Holowell, I never play or record this work
Manfred Werder, 2008/2
Catherine Lamb, stones, shades
Alexandra Spence, listening, for awhile
Ryoko Akama, PPM Book
MP Hopkins, Voices trace
Ailie Robertson, Vedbaek
Kathryn Pisaro, Favorite
Erik Satie, Harmonies
Johnny Chang, Bird Transcriptions


Preliminary Proposal

Mieko Shiomi, Boundary Music

In response:
Sonya Holowell, I never play or record this work

To view the expanded Proposals from the Future conversations visit Disclaimer.

Rob Thorne

Rob Thorne (Ngāti Tumutumu) is a new and original voice in the evolving journey of Taonga Puoro. His debut album Whāia te Māramatanga (Rattle Records) is a deeply felt and highly concentrated conversation between the past and the present—a musical passage of identity and connection. Using modern loop technology and traditional Māori flutes and horns made from stone, bone, shell and wood, Thorne creates a transcendent aural experience that touches the soul with timeless beauty. Every performance of Whāia te Māramatanga is a stunning and very personal exploration of the spiritual and healing qualities of an ancient practice.

Proposals from the Future

Nick Ashwood is a guitarist, composer, improviser and performer from Nipaluna/Tasmania now residing in Sydney. His focuses have been exploring deep listening, harmonic space and the possibilities of the steel-string acoustic guitar by means of preparations, just intonation, objects and bowing.

Berlin-based composer-performer Johnny Chang engages in extended explorations surrounding the relationships of sound/listening and the in-between areas of improvisation, composition and performance. Chang is part of the Wandelweiser composers collective and currently collaborates with: Catherine Lamb (Viola Torros project), Mike Majkowski (illogical harmonies), Phill Niblock, Samuel Dunscombe, Derek Shirley and others.

Megan Alice Clune shifts between musician, composer and artist. Primarily, her work explores both the concept and aesthetics of ambient music through sound installation, collaboration and performance. Clune is the founding member of the Alaska Orchestra and has presented work and undertaken residencies across Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, including: the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival (MA), Next Wave Festival, Underbelly Arts Festival, Performa 15 (NY) and VividLIVE at the Sydney Opera House.

Andrew Fedorovitch is compos mentis. Andrew Fedorovitch embodies professionalism in every aspect of his life, including music.

Sonya Holowell is a Dharawal woman, vocalist, composer and writer working across new and experimental genres. The contexts for her work—and the forms they take—are diverse and deeply questioning. Her practice comprises interdisciplinary collaboration, improvisation, multi-form writing and conceptual composition. She is also a workshop facilitator; a curator of the Now Now Festival; lecturer in experimental vocal practice; and a co-founder/editor of online arts publication ADSR Zine.

M.P. Hopkins is an artist based in Sydney who is concerned with how to record voices that are not really there, and ways to make voices that are there not sound like voices. He makes audio recordings, performances and texts.

Shota Matsumura is an artist working in Australia. He makes sound-based works for varying contexts. He has had the opportunity to collaborate with a multitude of artists from varying disciplines. Matsumura is currently an honours student associated with the Plant Ecophysiology and Ecosystem Processes Lab at the University of Sydney.

Alexandra Spence is an artist and musician living on Gadigal country in Sydney. She makes installations, compositions and performances based on (everyday) sound and listening. Through her practice she attempts to reimagine the intricate relationships between the listener, the object and the surrounding environment as a kind of communion or conversation. She has a current, near-spiritual, obsession with the animation of material and object through sound. Spence has performed and presented work on radio, in concerts, festivals, symposiums and galleries worldwide, and has two releases: Waking, She Heard The Fluttering, with Room40, and Immaterial, with Longform Editions.

Liquid Architecture

For the past 20 years, Liquid Architecture has been Australia’s leading organisation for artists working with sound and listening. LA investigates the sounds themselves, but also the ideas communicated about, and the meaning of, sound and listening.

Our program stages encounters and creates spaces for sonic experience, and critical reflection on sonority and systems of sonic affect. To do this, we host experiences at the intersection of contemporary art and experimental music, supporting artists to produce performances and concerts, exhibitions, talks, reading groups, workshops and recordings in art spaces, music venues and other sites.

Liquid Architecture is curatorially driven and our methodology embraces research, collaborations and imaginations. We want to echo beyond local conversations, problems, debates and questions, to reverberate across media and disciplines, and so to sound out new discourses about the audible world, and beyond.


+61 3 9905 4217

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners and Elders—past, present and emerging—of the lands on which Monash University operates. We acknowledge Aboriginal connection to material and creative practice on these lands for more than 60,000 years.


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